Retro Arcade Game Maker ‘Surprised’ to See Its Product Crushed in Apple’s iPad Ad

Apple’s new iPad Pro ad — which went viral for not necessarily the right reasons — also caught the attention of the company that made one of the objects pulverized in a gigantic hydraulic press.

The “Crush!” commercial features a cameo by one of Arcade1Up’s three-quarter-scale retro arcade game machines, albeit with a fictional game title (“Space Imploder”) affixed to the top. The machine’s screen flashes “Game Over” as it is smashed by an industrial press — along with dozens of other things, including musical instruments, a TV, a record player, paint tubes, cameras and emoji stress-balls — to produce one of the new, ultra-thin iPads.

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“We were surprised to see one of our Arcade1Up Midway Legacy machines re-wrapped [and] crushed in the recent iPad Pro ad,” David McIntosh, head of brand and communications at Arcade1Up, said in a statement to Variety.

The tech giant’s ad was meant to be lighthearted — showing how the new iPads cram all of these things into a slim and shiny slab — but it ignited a swift backlash from Hugh Grant, Hollywood filmmakers and others, who saw it as glorifying the literal destruction of human creativity. On Thursday, Apple apologized for the spot, saying in part, “Our goal is to always celebrate the myriad of ways users express themselves and bring their ideas to life through iPad. We missed the mark with this video, and we’re sorry.”

Of course, Arcade1Up — not willing to let a crisis of sorts go to waste — is trying to garner attention from its unexpected featured role in the ad in order to market its own wares.

On Friday, the company shared a video on Instagram that alluded to the iPad Pro spot, captioned “Crush those annoying ads and notifications. Play arcade games the way they’re meant to be played!” The video shows a guy who fumbles with an oversize tablet trying to play a game — before giving up and going over to play Pac-Man on an Arcade1Up machine.

“We share the creative community’s feelings on the ‘misdirection’ of this ad content and believe that true arcade gaming involves standing up, joystick in hand — not just holding a tablet,” Arcade1Up’s McIntosh said. “This moment has sparked a positive dialogue about the authentic arcade experience, which we continue to celebrate and champion.”

Miami-based Tastemakers is the company behind the Arcade1Up brand. It says the game machines offer “an authentic retro arcade experience in the comfort of your own home at an accessible price,” featuring classic titles including NFL Blitz Legends, Street Fighter, X-Men, Mortal Kombat, Atari, Pong, Pac-Man, Star Wars, Marvel Super Heroes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Big Buck Hunter.

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